Captain William V. Pratt, Acting Chief of Naval Operations, to Mark L. Requa, Director, Oil Division, United States Fuel Administration
<September 12, 1918>
The receipt is acknowledged of your letter file number 0-26-H of September 6, 1918, quoting a resolution of the Sub-Committee on Transportation of the National Petroleum War Service Committee, regarding the armament of tank steamers.
The Department appreciates the military necessity of providing armament for oil tankers, and in the arming of merchant vessels has already given precedence to this class of vessel over all other classes.
It must be realized, however, that the limited supply of guns available for arming merchant vessels makes it impossible to effect an immediate armament of all vessels, but the Department is going ahead with the arming of tankers as repaidly [i.e. rapidly] as the supply of guns at its disposal will permit.
Acting Chief of Naval Operations
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Document identifier “Op-24-S/13668-485” appears in upper left hand corner. Address below close: “U.S. Fuel Administration,/General Director Oil Division,/Washington, D. C.” Typed below close: “Copy to: Bureau of Ordnance” and handwritten: “note: This is not an original.”